The 13-page suicide note that was left by a mother who jumped to her death out an eight story window with a baby strapped to her chest is being studied by an Ohio hospital today. Cynthia Wachenheim mentioned postpartum depression in her suicide note, in which all 13 pages were hand written, according to the Christian Science Monitor on March 15, 2013.
The unnamed Ohio hospital now has this suicide note of this woman who was depressed and on antidepressants at the time of her death. The hospital is hoping that the information Wachenheim left will help them help others who are contemplating suicide.
Wachenheim strapped her 10-month-old baby on her chest and jumped out the eight story window of her up-scale apartment building. Her son, Keston, bounced off his mother and landed nearby. He had a few scratches and a bruise on his face. Wachenheim said in the note to her husband that she knew people would consider what she was about to do as “evil.” She was also seeing a therapist, but talked about “blowing him off” that day.
This is a highly educated woman who was on child care leave from a $122,000 a year job as a legal researcher at the Manhattan State Supreme Court. One of the things the researchers at the Ohio hospital studying this long and very detailed suicide note may find of interest is this mother's insistence that something was wrong with her child even after doctors gave him a clean bill of health a few times.
Wachenheim was riddled with guilt over two falls the child had taken, one where he rolled off the bed and onto the floor and another where he fell from some type of play equipment, landing on the floor. She said that her son was different, he slept longer than he used to and he cried more. She was sure he now had development problems due to these falls which she considered her fault and “shameful.”
It sounds as if people were aware that this woman was depressed, they probably didn't know just how depressed she was or what she was capable of doing in this condition. This case has put the spotlight on the seriousness of postpartum depression. The suicide note may supply the researchers with a window into the mind of a disturbingly sick woman.